Jay Wilson Interview @ AusGamers


Fmulder points us to another entry from Jay Wilson’s recent press tour, this time with AusGamers. The presentation of this one is quite different than the others, as it’s basically a conversation between Jay and the interviewer. There are questions, but it’s not at all a question/answer format.

I enjoyed it and the info in it, and it’s a must-read (the whole interview is on video also, at the page) if you’re interested in Diablo 3, but it doesn’t lend itself to discrete Q&A quotes, so here are a few of the more interesting quotes from Jay.

…on the gameplay side, we’ve been done for a couple of weeks. We do have some programming talent there still working on minor stability issues and stress tests of the open-beta just occurred and we want to take things from that, but for the most part, we’ve been done for a few weeks, of the actual game component.

…I would be playing — if I didn’t have the launch event to go to and boxes to sign — I’d be playing the game at 12:01. If I couldn’t play the game at work, I’d be taking the time off. So no, that’s go-time for us. That’s the time when we double-down on it.

I get jokes from people asking me what I’m going to do when we’re done and I’m like “Oh, I’m going to sleep or go on vacation”. The Truth is, I already went on vacation, so I could actually be there for the launch and be ready. Because for Blizzard, the real work starts when the game ships. That’s when we go into hardcore support mode.

…the choices that we made throughout production was to focus on co-op and single-player, so PvP kind of always got the shaft. So it was something that we didn’t feel that a compromised, shafted experience was what we wanted to ship. But we also knew, running up to the release date, that the single-player was going to get even more focus and PvP would get even less. So we felt like PvP needs its time, it needs its time where it’s the only priority, so that’s why we chose to kind of push it off.

…For the PvP patch, we definitely… I would say, we want to get it out within months after release. I would say, if it showed up close to the end of the year, that would be… I would say, almost a disaster. So I don’t see it slipping out of this year at all, and I think it’ll be much sooner.

…I can say, unequivocally… and I don’t like to firmly stamp my foot down on things — because that almost always comes back to bite me — but I can honestly say, that the end-game of Diablo III is way more challenging than Diablo II; way more.

…we formed a specific strike-team, just for end-game. And their goal was to tell us that this was a challenging and compelling experience. So they spent just as long working on the game as our kind of normal difficulty strike-team did — which is unusual.

Good news on the PvP patch date, much as we’ve learned to distrust any sort of estimated dates for a Blizzard game. I’m even starting to believe them that DiabloWikiInferno will be challenging. They’ve said it so many different times in different ways that they’re wearing down my skepticism. Perhaps even to the point of altering my play-through plans.

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  1. I’m completely shocked Flux. Your cynisism wearing down, surely not? Next stop fanboyville? I’m just kidding. Great interview. 🙂 Good work as always.

  2. Awesome interview all around, thanks Flux and fmulder for the heads-up.

    Enrage timers are huge gear and skill checks. Now I see why progress through the later difficulties will be slower. You won’t be able to cheese bosses by chain-stunning them and then slowly weathering them down. A good balance of defense and offense will be required. I like it.

    • I dunno how I feel about enrage timers. They seem like a cop-out to me in terms of Diablo because it’s just their way of negating possibly bad design or punishing non-optimal builds.

      • Enrage Timers – for those who think people leeching MF weren’t bad enough!
         
        Hope it doesn’t backfire, cause in a nutshell Enrage timers are pretty damn good thing to motivate people not to slouch while fighting the boss. Especially on HC mode.

        • I would think “not dying” would be ample motivation, but to each his own.

        • I thought all the ‘skilled’ players are wanting a difficult game? Or maybe they want it just as difficult that most people can’t beat it but they can?

          I’m foreseeing lots of QQ in the forum shortly after release…. 

  3. Well, the ‘style’ of that interview is indeed unique. And I certainly don’t mind things staying that way. ;D

    I think – in my honest opinion – that adding every single little side comment – be it an interjection – which can be helpful for context at times though – or parallel thought – regardless, if it actually leads somewhere or ends in a logical dead end in all the … uhm, where was I … – well, might be an effective – yet very simple – way of getting a good length for your text – which always makes a good impression – seeing it creates the illusion of actual depth at the first glance – which may actually be the case – or may not be the case – but certainly helps filling the page – without actually having the need of providing much information – which again is always quite well packaged in lots of dashes and subordinate clauses – no matter if the reader can actually follow the train of thought – which would very much be ideal – or not – which should be ok just as well.

    Paraphrasing has its uses.

    Oh, and hooray for enrage timers! Much better than leaving the option of beating a hard boss battle in multiple attempts bit by bit due to lack of balancing. These will probably be the key to the immense difficulty we’ve been promised.

  4. I’m glad Jay referenced speed of the monsters.  I don’t hear that enough on the forums from the trash talkers that say I’m going to burn through inferno like a warm knife through butter.   We know using slow/snare skills in the beta, some of the champs were still able to get through them relatively fast…and they were not as fast as we know some D2X monsters have been.  If slow skills stay the same in inferno, I assure you those skills will be essentially useless which will make crowd control even more of a concern when playing.  You might get like a nanosecond to make a move but if you choose to fire instead of move then you might have consequences.  Imagine fast Ubers and I think that is what we will be dealing with.  

    EDIT: so i kept reading and now they have enraged timers! Here’s something else I have not heard them talk about…has Blizz indicated if they are going to have monster heal? Remember that stuff? If that is in inferno, these “world first” heroes just might be humbled. There is no “prevent monster heal” affixes, right on weapons, right?

  5. “That means sometimes you make hard choices. And the choices that we made throughout production was to focus on co-op and single-player, so PvP kind of always got the shaft. So it was something that we didn’t feel that a compromised, shafted experience was what we wanted to ship. But we also knew, running up to the release date, that the single-player was going to get even more focus and PvP would get even less. So we felt like PvP needs its time, it needs its time where it’s the only priority, so that’s why we chose to kind of push it off.” – Jay Wilson
     
    That’s the first time I’ve heard him comment on single player in D3 in any kind of non-negative way. Wow, just wow. 😯 That was a huge interview, I’m still digging thru it 20mins later. That was an awesome interview, all those be-a-utiful crowd control scene’s almost brought tears to my eye’s.

    “we put the beta out to test our hardware; to test our software.” – Jay Wilson

    Yep, this is something a lot of people here never properly gauged. Personally I dis’d the beta like many critics at first but this ‘official’ news put so bluntly is great news to my ears.

  6. Amazing interview , finally somebody knows how to interview , other websites should learn from them , everytime I watch an interview its the same exact questions that have been answered a million times by the developers through tweets or by other interviews , but these guys just got us some new info that made me even more excited about the game.
    Gotta love the enrage timer , so people also have to play very strategically now , you can’t simply go all defensive and kill a unique or a champion or even a boss by hitting him for half an hour , you gotta have proper gear and balance between survival and dishing out damage , LOVE IT.

  7. So structure for the release of our product is something we’ve gotten very good at

    lolwut? D3 aside…where’s heart of the swarm, two years later? It’s an expansion pack. But yet, it was a great interview. I like that Wilson has no problem dropping insight about the actual development process in some sort of depth. That’s something you just don’t see very much.

    • No its not an expansion pack. You don’t get the way SC2 is structured. Pretty much 3 games in the exact same way except for the race you controll. 
      (asuming Blizzard doesn’t throw in any crazy new gamemodes or such) 

  8. I’m amazed! This interview feels so well executed, it actually brought me back to the Blizzcon 2011 (I’ll miss your 2012 version) sort of a feeling, while i was watching it 🙂

    Also, if possible, i’d love to have incgamers always post link to the interview. While the content is the same in both cases, it’s just so much more amusing to hear Jay talking about Diablo, than just read about it.

  9. Very good interview in my opinion. Definitely worth the read/listen.

  10. Thanks for linking this.  I guess that : “…on the gameplay side, we’ve been done for a couple of weeks. We do have some programming talent there still working on minor stability issues and stress tests of the open-beta just occurred and we want to take things from that, but for the most part, we’ve been done for a few weeks, of the actual game component.”,  means that I should not expect (hope for) any UI fixes for the 0 day patch.  The key to thoroughly enjoying this is to not get my hopes up too much.

  11. Superb…i like it, the style of the interview and the answers of Jay. 10 days to go..where is the hype?? 🙂 Uhhhhhaaaahhh….

  12. didn’t know Adrien Brody worked for AusGamers on a side. Also, no seats for a 23 minute interview?!

    a very good one though. walls in front of players, eh? hmmm

  13. It made me wonder though, when jay was talking about stability issue if that was more sever side than client. I’m presuming it was. Should probably expect a little bit of down time not long after launch. I hope they stay on top of the issues though unlike those kiddies over at trendynet that fail fail fail with connection issues abound.

  14. probably one of the best interviews with jay ive seen
    really great info
    and holy **** i cant believe the game is 10 days away  WTF  

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